By Rebekah Martin
Opelika’s 7th annual National Night Out will be held Aug. 5. Opelika resident and NNO coordinator, Mattie Clark, said, “National Night Out is a campaign designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness. It’s an opportunity to promote and celebrate police-community partnerships in crime prevention efforts.”
NNO is co-sponsored locally by Breaking the Cycle, Inc., the City of Opelika and the Opelika Police Department. It is nationally sponsored by The National Association of Town Watch.
The local event will begin with a “Take Back our Community March” at 5:30 p.m. beginning at Antioch Baptist Church, 605 WE Morton Ave., and will go to the Covington Recreation Center at 213 Carver Ave.
The event will feature children’s activities, police demonstrations and local talent. There will be a memorial held for those who have lost loved ones to crime, and participants in the march will be eligible to win a $50 door prize.
NATW’s executive director, Matt Peskin, introduced National Night Out in 1984. “National Night Out represents the kind of spirit, energy and determination to help make neighborhoods a safer place year round,” Peskin said.
As stated on the website, National Night Out involves over 37.8 million people and 16,124 communities from all all over the country, Canada and military bases worldwide.
“Our goal is to bring all of Opelika together to raise awareness and fight against crime in our community,” Clark said. “We need to get back to the time when neighbors looked out for neighbors; crime has no color and no nationality. It’s time to let it be known that our community will not tolerate crime.”